5 comments on “Lal Haveli (1944)

  1. I’ve been waiting for your review ever since you announced it would be coming up, Richard – and it certainly does pique my interest (I’m curious now about what happens as a result of Mukta giving blood to Jawahar – no, don’t tell me; I’ll watch the film)! Ulhas, by the way, does look quite handsome in that particular screen cap you’ve put in.

    Talking about Noor Jehan’s acting (rather than her singing), I do think her acting was pretty good in Dopatta (which, as you probably know, I loved), as well as in parts of Mirza Sahiban – she manages to portray the demure shyness of Sahiban very well.

  2. Richard,
    Thanks a lot. Now some gaps are filling up in what I saw in YT. You seem to be OK with the device used to resolve the tangle. But this was the point which I found quite odd, and Ulhas’s transformation too pat and artificial. Another quibble, which I believe you are going to reject outright, is Noorjehan’s significant girth. In most films, even at a very young age, she could have played the hero’s mother.


  3. Madhu, I am glad to have piqued your interest… I hope you can find out what the “device” is soon, but if you can’t and have to know, I’ll tell you in a personal message. :) (It’s actually not such a big deal…) I am glad that you liked the pic of Ulhas, too. Actually, he is not smiling so much in other parts of the film. In other places, he looks kind of grim, and angry, of course. (When I watched some of the songs on YouTube without subtitles and without having seen the rest of the movie, there was one – which I didn’t include here – which shows Ulhas convincingly looking quite furious, and I could not at all understand why, at least from the context. Well, I am glad I solved that little mystery for myself!)

    I did recall that you had said something about how convincing Noor Jehan was at conveying the shyness of Sahiban, and I just looked back at your review and saw you had a few more nice words about her. I know that you liked her in Dupatta, too. Well, I am glad you agree that her acting can be pretty good (though this is not often acknowledged, I don’t think…).

    AK, were you left with gaps to fill from watching the version on YouTube? But I don’t understand, if you saw the film with its full ending and you knew that had been omitted on YouTube…

    Well, anyway, I’ll disagree with you on both points. I did like the novelty and cleverness of the “device.” Also, Jawahar/Ulhas’s transformation didn’t happen immediately after that; it took him a little while to change his attitude. I actually thought the part of the ending was pretty familiar-looking. There are quite a few old Hindi films in which the character’s thinking turns from unfavorable to favorable very quickly, just like that – or even more rushed compared to that. So, while it wasn’t perfect, it was OK with me (maybe I am just already used to that sort of thing).

    Regarding Noor Jehan’s girth,I kind of like it. I’m tired of the modern Hollywood or “Madison Avenue” aesthetic – which has also crept into contemporary Bollywood – by which the “beautiful” actress always has to be skinny. And also, in recent decades, the popular actresses have been required to look less mature than they actually were. (I once read a funny article, not too long ago, about how the popular Hollywood heroines – if that’s what they could be called – were required to seem infantile.) Anyway, I think it’s stretching it al little, if you consider that Surendra is the hero here, to say that Noor Jehan could play Surendra’s mother, considering that he was at least 15 years older than her!

  4. Richard, I can’t think how I missed this post! I was waiting for this every since you announced that the review would be up, but I think I overlooked the fact that my sidebar showed only ‘Lal Haveli’ for some time now.

    Thank you for the review. It does sound interesting. Is it available on YouTube (in its entirety, I mean)?

  5. You’re welcome, Anu. Regarding availability on YouTube, there always seems to be a copy up there, but I don’t know if there is one that contains the full ending. (Though I could check for you at some point in the near future – that is, maybe go to a copy, fast-forward it, and see if the ending looks right…)

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